Selfridges have predicted the six big food trends for 2021

With the beginning of a new year, we love to look ahead to see what the year ahead might hold for us. A great way to do that is to look at the experts’ trend predictions.

John Lewis recently released their predictions for what beauty trends we’ll all be following this year, while shopping app used 2020 search data to determine the fashion trends we’ll see the most in 2021.

But if you’re wondering what’s going to be on the supermarket shelves, in your fridge and on menus in 2021, Selfridges has just released their food predictions for the year ahead. Just as with beauty and fashion trends, the continuing pandemic will heavily influence what we eat and the way we eat it. Selfridges food product developer Jess Abela talks us through the six big food trends for 2021.

Selfridges six big food trends for 2021

1. Provenance & hyperlocal

With sustainability at the forefront of our motivations when shopping, expect to see more hydroponic growth systems in supermarkets and stores.

hydroponic parsley
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‘Sustainability, biodiversity and community-driven considerations were driving many consumers’ food and drink choices before the pandemic. This has accelerated and customers are increasingly searching for ways to re-connect with the food system.

‘Hydroponic growth systems such as Infarm allow us select herbs and salads to grow within our London Foodhall, offering customers hyperlocal, super fresh and naturally flavourful produce. It ticks lots of sustainability boxes, reducing our carbon footprint and using 95% less water.’

2. Imperfect eating

As many of us turned to food for comfort during the last (turbulent) year, we are redefining the term ‘junk food’ and recognising the value of enjoying indulgent foods when it comes to our overall wellbeing.

‘Whilst consumers are becoming more savvy about nutrition, the terms ‘guilty pleasures’ and ‘junk food’ are taking on a new form. Consumers are seeking ways to bring back the feel-good factor and shake off the taboo, re-affirming food’s role in routine acts of self-care. New brands are taking the language, flavours and visual cues of ‘junk foods’ and refining them for an adult audience.’

humble warrior drink

Humble Warrior Turmeric and mango sparkling plant-based tonics pack of six, £26.99, Selfridges

3. Beauty foods

With our renewed sense of interest in skincare, the next step many of us will take is discovering the world of food and drinks that can boost our beauty from within – the next step on from beauty supplements.

‘Bridging the gap between nutrition and skincare, holistic food and drink brands are now launching science backed beauty foods, drinks and skincare made using their hero ingredients. Some brands are expanding their beauty supplements to include foods and on the flip-side, food brands are foraying into the beauty market through olive oil.’

Ancient + Brave collagen blend

Ancient + Brave Coffee + Collagen blend, £26.99, Selfridges

4. Food-as-medicine

It’s not surprising that during a pandemic, our interest in health and wellbeing has skyrocketed, and so we are looking to our diets to see where we can add extra health benefits.

‘Half of UK consumers believe plants and botanicals have medicinal benefits. The food-as-medicine movement is being rebranded to fit modern lifestyles, balancing flavour and function to shape our physical and psychological states. The desire for health and wellbeing post-pandemic is a consistent trend across all markets. Nostalgic narratives overlaid with science are giving way to a new category.’

Wunder Workshop mushroom powder

Wunder Workshop Superior Chaga mushroom powder, £24.99, Selfridges

5. Flexitarians

Again, the pandemic has forced many of us to assess our general level of health. Combine this with a global conversation around sustainability and climate change and it’s no wonder lots of us are trying to eat less meat.

‘14% of Brits now identify as flexitarians – twice as many as pescatarians, vegetarians and vegans combined. And three quarters of people globally plan to eat and drink more healthily as a result of the pandemic. Following a largely plant-based diet and choosing alternative protein sources to meat can not only improve health but reduce your carbon footprint.’

The Burger Co vegan mayo

The Vurger vegan smoked bacon-flavour mayo, £4.99, Selfridges

6. Mood foods

Health no longer just means how you feel physically, it encompasses how feel mentally, too. Foods that can boost our mood, relieve anxiety or help us sleep better are all on the rise.

‘As we better understand the synergy between food and mental health, our diets are changing to reflect both how we feel and how we want to feel. People are looking to foods to address wellness issues such as sleep, anxiety and concentration. Consumers are increasingly linking what they eat and drink to their emotional states.’

Pollen CBD gummies

Pollen Soothe You CBD gummies, £34.99, Selfridges